上面这张照片(taken at CCRC)没有小孩，this is done on purpose. 这个是从楼上的bar/restaurant 拍过去的。我的两个小孩开始打网球🎾有一年左右, 她俩都有进步：从一开始完全是新手到现在可以和同级别的小朋友打几个回合了。想到我自己真正开始打网球还是来美国以后，读研究生时跟同学打了一下。97,98,99年美国打网球的地方跟国内相比简直是天壤之别。我当时在罗拉的沃尔玛买了个威尔森Wilson 铝合金的网球拍。后来工作后在圣路易斯的Sports Authority （S A）买了个同牌的碳素纤维的拍子。SA 好像在2008年的金融危机中倒闭了。我自己大概有十几年没有打网球。记得06年在Woodsmill 的tennis club 周五晚上跟朋友打过球：庆祝过cardinals 那年拿到world series 的冠军。再之后就是去年开始跟家人，孩子打了。我估计我会很快打不过她们了：因为她们在进步，我在原地踏步再加上年龄在那里。我也是在过去一年中意识到小孩们打球不容易。有一次在CCRC看到两个高中男生打得虎虎有生气：我估计他俩可能在本州高中生里面是高手了。今天是星期天下午，我看老大打球，教练我估计是大学生（年轻人），他玩一个轻吊，一个高中男生（我女儿的搭档）跑过去，失去平衡，摔倒在地，眼镜掉地，肩膀也好像也摔痛。我的太太最近跟拉肚高中校队的小姑娘学网球。据她说，校队不好进。后来我想想其实做好每一件事都不容易。但是反过来说，进不了校队，爬不上常青藤（或相当的学校）也没啥。因为我自己就没有做到这些：and I don’t think my life is less meaningful due to that [捂脸][呲牙]
This reminds me of a related topic: Micro Managers And Micro Management.
If you have Netflix sub, you may want to check out the new movie “No Hard Feelings” too (featuring former American sweet heart Jennifer Lawrence): it touched the topic of “helicopter” parents and parenting.
PS: I realized the different color for different levels of tennis clinics is in a way very similar to the level in Suzuki violin lessons. Many other programs, from academics to sports, have this progress indicator and it’s a very useful tool to motivate people to learn and to progress. Tae Kwon Do is a good example. Duolingo is another excellent example of this (the founder of Duolingo explained it in a Ted Talk). I think many Credit Card Rewards programs are modeled after this idea too. Just think of miles, points, and elite status vs the streak, the points, and all the stuff in the Roblox games: my 9-year-old just showed me all the “houses” she has in the Adopt Me, and she bought a bed and customized the color on the spot yesterday evening 😀
PS 2: in last few years I noticed the pickle ball is taking off in the US. This is both in terms of popularity and the professional leagues. A new playing place is going to pop up at olivette. The CCRC seems also allocated more spaces to the pickleball. It’s hard to imagine only a few years ago it was really just a niche sport that I saw some older folks play at the JCC basketball court on Saturday mornings.
(Update 19-Nov-2023) STLToday: Girls tennis spotlight: Lafayette’s Amber Yin aims for state title in her only season. Something new to me: so I just learned some players don’t necessarily join the high school varsity team so that they can get better score in the college recruiting. Quote – “I wanted to focus on getting some positive results for college recruiting and I think that worked out well,” Yin said.
This reminded me in the past, some figure skating kids (who are very good) do homeschool so that they can have 4 to 5 hours ice time everyday, also to be closer to their coaches. And recently I learned violinist (high school kids) do homeschool too. In a way those kids decided their professions, and I think I can understand the sacrifice here.